Powering Innovation Whilst Focus Remains On The End Customer

30th December 2019

This article was first published in CIO Outlook

Those within the insurance community have for many years looked toward technology to help change the insurance experience.  As a market we are often late adopters and risk adverse.  With ever more credible new entrants into our sector, many insurers, brokers and MGA’s alike are starting to utilize a variety of automation and AI capabilities.  There are opportunities to reimagine our market, with benefits available to both customers and insurers but change must be done well.  Over the first two years of the Davies Disruptive Thinking Lab, we have, on multiple occasions backed ideas to help our staff work more efficiently.  This hasn’t always been the primary goal, but rather a joint outcome from an initial customer focus – how can we give policyholders or clients more information, improved choice, multiple channels via which to communicate with us? It is crucial that the focus remains on the end customer, their needs and desires whilst appreciating the wider strategy.

When you can reduce the claims lifecycle, you can have a huge impact on the cost of claims. There are trials underway in the market to learn how best to deploy digital only experiences.  Right now, products such as Travel, or Gadget make the most sense from which to learn but undoubtedly, straight-through processing, will affect all areas as the technology and implementations develop.

We have continual conversations in this space within Davies.  Customer and technology strategies aligned, but we are also sure to focus on the quality of our people and processes.  Providing claims and broader insurance solutions that are time efficient for everyone is so important. They do however require a different mindset to risk and fraud management than traditional claims processes.

“It is crucial that the focus remains on the end customer: their needs and desires, whilst appreciating the wider strategy” 

Absolute security is expected by all customers and is a priority.  Perhaps most relevant today is the provision of support for those most vulnerable within our society.  Having an approach to technology that can not only help to identify people who are vulnerable, but that support those customers throughout their interaction with an insurer or insurance process is vital.  There are interesting options here but of course, technology is only part of the solution – great strategy and a commitment to all customers is key.

So, what exactly is the right balance?

This is often asked by those involved in any change programme. From a customer’s perspective, it’s more relevant that products are priced competitively, that they deliver when needed and that empathy to difficult situations is provided by the people and brands they interact with.  When done correctly, brands will look after their customers and their success can be used as a measure of the right balance.

Customers of all types will continue to interact with the insurance market and it remains crucial to provide choice.  Choice in product, choice in experience, and importantly choice in communication channel.  What a customer would desire from us at policy purchase will differ from that required during a complex claim – this differs again for some everyday interactions during the policy period.  Easy access to information in a timely way is a key factor no matter – you may prefer support in person, over the phone or find the information yourself online.

Whether the customer has adopted a digital claims journey with Davies, or a more traditional one, being able to communicate to the customer what is about to happen, when and why remains one of the most important things to get right.  The ‘how’ might be different but having everyone aligned is vital.

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